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A newsletter produced by Disciples Women of the 
National  Convocation of the  Christian Church (Disciples of Christ)
A Message from Our President

Wanona Redd

My Sister,
Praise the Lord, sister for a new season and a new day. I am so thankful for the season of spring. The season that we are able to pull off all our bulky outerwear and feel more comfortable inside and outside. The season when new growth begins.The season when the days become longer and the earth looks like it is awake more than it is sleeping.

We should take heed of all these signs that God's creation gives us in a new season. Let's open our hearts and minds to a new season in Him.
P.S.- T o support our mission opportunity, w e need every woman to bring toiletries to the National Convocation in Kansas, MO. And don't forget to register for the DWM luncheon, I will see you there!
A New Season
When most of us start our journey into a career, we often think we are choosing a life-long path. We envision climbing the ladder to greater positions and more opportunity in that area. The reality is that life's journey is not linear. Doors close that we thought would be open and opportunities sprout from unexpected places taking us across instead of up.

When I began my graduate studies in Digital Media, I anticipated working on special effects teams that would produce movies comparable to The Matrix and Lord of the Rings. After a period of discernment and asking that faithful question, "What would you like me to do God?", the focus of my life changed from Hollywood to Kingdom. Over a decade later, it continues to be a journey of discovery wrapped in a perpetual state of learning. I am continuing to experience new seasons through changes in mission, exploration of new gifts and reshaping of old ones. Life isn't static enough to get comfortable.

New seasons in life can be simultaneously exhilarating and petrifying.  The uncertainty of what's to come can leave you paralyzed. Remember, if God gave you a vision or a dream, then you are also given the ability to achieve it. Nothing that God does is for the sake of your harm. It's all for your good, and necessary for your ability to actually reach the heights of your calling.

In the midst of new seasons, rejoice. Rejoice that God is calling you to something new. Rejoice that God is continuing to use your life to impact others, who may not know God's grace and mercy, or the Divine's willingness to use them beyond their wildest dreams. Rejoice in the fact that you are being allowed to work with God to do something greater than yourself.
Yes, those seasons of life that move you from one place to the other can be daunting, but they can also be the most exciting moments of your life. They are moments of stretching, learning and growth. They are moments of writing a new chapter with the greatest Creator. They are moments of partnering with God. There are people waiting for you to boldly walk into your new season. You can be the living testimony of the courage and faith it takes to grow and go with God. Revel in the season.

-Rev. Lashaundra McCarty (consultant, coach, speaker)
Christal Williams
named Tennessee regional min ister

Rev. Dr. Christal LaShawn Williams was elected regional minister for Tennessee at a called assembly April 16. Williams has held positions such as associate regional minister in Illinois-Wisconsin. She has also served in Illinois, Iowa, Ohio and Indiana. She will begin her term on Aug. 1. A native of Cleveland, Ohio, Williams earned her bachelor's (read more...)
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It is Springtime

Spring gives hope that God believes in second chances. -Toni Sorenson
Are you ready for spring, my Sisters? The very sound of the word gives the connotation of freshness and freedom. We can open the windows and let warm, fresh breezes of spring sweep throughout our homes. We can finally take off those bulky coats and yes, lose the weight that has been hiding underneath. We can walk barefoot in the grass, roll down the windows of our cars, run in the park, sit on our porches or balconies and let spring in! How exciting is this stirring of a sleeping earth! Imagine, the whole earth stretches and takes a deep breath.

Spring is often associated with renewing, anew, birth, new, rejuvenation, and beginnings. It is a time of year when energy is high and eagerness is peak. It is almost as if there is a message of "you have another chance" silently and metaphorically being conveyed. I choose to receive it as God, in His infinite wisdom, showing us that things that we perceive as dead are yet asleep (look at the lush green yards, the budding leaves on the trees, the reemergence of Hosta bushe s,  the chirping of the crickets and birds, the blooms of the flowers). I choose to think that God says "Okay, let's try this again."

Sis ter s, we m ay not get it right ALL of the time. We, at times, may have to go back and apologize and correct a wrong; we may just have to do things we either do not want to or understand; we will often have to humble ourselves before the Lord as the spring in our mortal lives switches from dormant to alive. We may at times think that our lives are insignificant and our value is minimized. Such is not the case with God. As the seasons rotate, God reminds us of who He is and how much He loves matter what (Deuteronomy 31:6). God reminds us that we are His creations (Genesis 1:26) and that we have a purpose (Exodus 9:16, Job 42:2, Psalm 138:8, Proverbs 19:21, Proverbs 20:5, Isaiah 25:1 Romans 12:2, Romans 8:28, Ephesians 1:11). As the leaves return to the trees, the flowers bloom, hibernating animals, bugs and reptiles begin to roam or crawl, and the days get warmer, the evidence of a second chance, a new start, is apparent. If we yield ourselves to Him, He will make those tired, old, worn-out things of our winter, new (Psalm 98:1, Jeremiah 31:3, Ezekiel 36:26, 2Corinthians 5:17, Colossians 3:10) just like springtime. 
Just Women magazine
Eco-Justice: Ethics and Action
The summer issue of Just Women magazine, Eco-Justice: Ethics and Action will be available at the beginning of July. This issue will feature Disciples partnerships in Flint, Michigan working to bring clean water and justice; Green Chalice, the Disciples' creation care ministry; an organic farm in Hiram, Ohio that is changing the lives of autistic adults; the Blue Theology Mission Station in Pacific Grove, California; and understanding organic and local food trends. Subscriptions must be ordered by June 1st.
The Leadership Council meeting was held in January in Daytona Beach.
Woman-to-Woman Worldwide 2016
Hand holding globe
Ten women have been chosen to be a part of this year's journey to Ghana and South Africa.  This is an exciting opportunity for the women to build relationships and learn about a new culture.  They are already busy preparing, getting vaccinations, reading books and learning about the host countries. They are also all busy raising funds for their trip. While some women have had help in paying for their journey from their region or congregation, others are still trying to raise the $5000 necessary to attend. Consider making a donation in any amount to help our sisters on this life-changing adventure.

Visit the W2WW web page to help sponsor a traveler and learn more about their trip, and the yearly Woman-to-Woman Worldwide journey. 

The "Good Part"

 There were two sisters who met a man unlike any other. This man provided them with unconditional love. These two women were as different as night and day. Their differences often caused conflict in their relationship but they had one thing in common, they both loved their friend dearly and they knew they were very important to Him as well. There came a time when their dear friend was coming for a visit. The sisters were very excited, "What are we going to wear? What should we have for dinner?" The discussion went on. The day had come for the visitor to arrive. One sister took off from work early so that she could prepare for this very special visit. She was busy getting the house ready cleaning the carpet, washing the walls, moping the floor. She went out and purchased fresh flowers for dinner. She spent the rest of the day prepping her meal. She wanted everything to be perfect for her guest who was coming to dinner. The second sister, however, felt it was important to share the good news and tell others about her special friend. She too, took off from work early so that she could have enough time to spread the good news. Filled with excitement she texted, she called, she tweeted, and posted on Facebook. Her sister wasn't happy that she was so focused on spreading the good news to others about the visit. Her sister felt she should be busy helping her get things ready. She felt that instead of running around being excited and telling people about the guest, she should be helping her. The busy sister was stressed beyond belief, anxious, irritable and just plain mad at her sister for not helping with any of the preparations. The hour had come and the visitor had arrived. The sisters greeted Him with excitement. One sister stayed with the visitor and sat at His feet giving Him her full attention while the other sister was still busy getting things done. His presence filled the home with joy and peace. He greeted all the guests and then began to talk as others listened, and the joyous sister sat at his feet. The other sister, overcome with frustration, came in and said, "Master, please tell my sister to help me. I still have lots to do before dinner. Why is she just sitting there? Can't she see we have work to do?" But His response to her was unexpected.   
   Some of you might recognize this story from the bible about the two sisters Mary and Martha. As the story goes, "Now as they were traveling along, He entered a village and a woman named Martha welcomed Him into her home. She had a sister called Mary, who was seated at the Lord's feet, listening to His word. But Martha was distracted with all her preparations and she came up to Him and said, 'Lord, do You not care that my sister has left me to do all the serving alone? Then tell her to help me.' But the Lord answered and said to her, 'Martha, Martha, you are worried and bothered about so many things but only one thing is necessary, for Mary has chosen the good part, which shall not be taken away from her.'" Luke 10:38 - 42. There are many lessons to be learned from this story but what stands out most is when Jesus said "Mary has chosen the 'good part.'"  
     How did Martha miss the good part? It wasn't that she didn't love Jesus. She spent time preparing for His visit because she loved Him. It wasn't that she wasn't prepared, because she spent ample time preparing. Let's look at what she did miss. She was so busy "doing" that she couldn't see herself; instead she pointed the finger at her sister. Jesus' response caused her to turn her heart inward so that she could look at herself.  This is always the path the Savior takes with us when we go to him about someone else.  He always shows us ourselves. The blessing we receive when this happens is that we get to the "good part," which is Christ the savior that dwells on the inside of every believer. Christ's goal is to draw us closer to Him. Genesis 1:26 "Then God said, "Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness.'" It has always been God's intention to conform us to His image. Mankind lost its way after the fall, but God never stops drawing us closer to Him. He gave the children of Israel the Ark of the Covenant to travel with them so that he could be in the midst of the camp. But that was not sustainable so He sent His Son Jesus to live on the inside of us to provide assurance that He would always be with us. Now the Savior works on the inside of us, on our insufficiencies so that His love and His mercy can be manifested through us. If we are busy looking at others we cannot demonstrate the love and mercy of God. We should not lose heart when we see others not living up to our standards or expectations, instead look at it as an opportunity to change ourselves through Christ our savior. I believe that is the "good part" Jesus was talking about.
    Another theme we can look at in the story is Jesus' response to Martha and His question to her "Why are you so worried and bothered about so many things?" Martha was busy. Martha was busy being busy. Martha was so busy that she missed the "good part." I think every woman can identify with the business of life. By nature, women are multitaskers. We can do the laundry, help with homework and cook dinner all at the same time. In all that business, it becomes difficult for us to stop and sit at Jesus' feet as Mary did. Most of the time the work before us appears so vast that we never seem to get it done. It's like the laundry basket, as soon as we get it down, it seems to fill up again. The point is the work will never cease, the laundry basket will never be empty, there will always be another meal to prepare and the kids will always need us. Therefore, in order to get to the "good part" we have to turn to the example of Mary and be willing to just stop and sit at Jesus' feet. The benefit we get when we just stop is the "good part." We get the attention of the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. We get to listen and hear His words. We get to quiet the business, and moreover we get to rest at His feet.
     At rest we get revived. At rest we get renewed. At rest we can get perspective on being busy. We won't stop being multitaskers: it is in our nature as women. We will probably never have the empty laundry basket, and there will always be a dinner to prepare, a relationship to tend to, or a job to get done. The psalmist asks, Psalm 116:12 "What shall I render to the Lord for all His benefits toward me?" What we render is our time, taking time to turn our face toward Him. In turn we experience His peace that surpasses all understanding, His unspeakable joy, patience to carry on, and strength to love in spite of. We all probably identify with Martha but we also have the character of Mary within us. I believe that was the purpose of this pericope, to show us what we can be through Mary so that we can get to the "good part."

- Rev. Lora Baxter, Raynor Park Christian Church, California
SERF Retreat 2016
Christ Mount, NC 

Human Trafficking is in your state, your city, maybe even your neighborhood or at the truck stop on the Interstate exit you pass every day. 
It is the second largest criminal activity in the world.

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50 cents a day for 3 months equals $45 to show the strength, commitment, and love of National Convocation women.
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 Social Action Emphasis
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July 21 - 24, 2016
24th Biennial Session
Kansas City, MO

October 12 to October 27, 2016
Woman-to-Woman Worldwide
to South Africa & Ghana